In the Tour de France, equipping your bike with a small electric motor is called mechanical doping and is considered cheating. The Electric bike (E-bike) has seen its fair share of humiliation over the years, stigmatised by Lycra-clad sceptics across the nation who see it as a form of cheating. Recently, however, following the lead of countries like Germany and the Netherlands, thousands of people across Europe and the UK have been peeling away from the peleton of e-bike haters and purchasing a pedelec themselves.
So why the change in attitude? Electric bikes have numerous benefits: they’re speedier than a regular bike; much more eco-friendly than a car; and, they require less effort, put much less impact on your knees and joints; are easier on hills; and are great for carrying the shopping (although originally thought of as a cure for the lazy, they actually provide a good level of exercise). E-Bikes are particularly beneficial for those over 50 or for people who have or have had health and medical conditions which would normally prevent them from cycling. While you still have to turn the pedals yourself, if you require an extra push to get up a hill or keep riding when you’re tired out, you can just switch the motor on and off whenever you like.
Exercise is necessary in our lives, as we all know. People who are physically active are much less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, depression, disabilities in old age or to die prematurely. Despite these benefits, many people still do not exercise and they always have the same excuses: they don’t have time or they aren’t fit enough to exercise. Potentially, electric bikes could address these problems – they can be used instead of the car on short or medium length journeys. Even with the added assistance of a motor people who have not been exercising much would still get a meaningful workout.
Electric bikes are simply bicycles with a battery added. Most of them are around 22-25kg in weight and have 36volt lithium batteries which can travel for around 80-100kms at speeds of between 20 and 25km per hour. If you are thinking about getting an E-Bike but not yet sure or have never tried one, just call in and speak with Lynn or myself and we will advise you and let you try one.
We had 2 members of our Hybrid groups: 1 male and 1 female, change onto e-bikes in the past few weeks as they are 70 years old now and were both struggling to keep up with the rest of the groups, especially on the return trip. Now the groups struggle to keep up with them! – the change is amazing especially as they were both considering packing in cycling.
So don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Gary and Lynn are available at Cyclogical in Quesada, Monday to Friday from 9.30am – 5.30pm and from 10.00am – 2.00pm on a Saturday to assist and advise you on all your cycling requirements including their Route Map books.